Friday, April 22, 2016

Bus Report #918

The 22 Fillmore was crowded tonight.

My original seatmate (young, small backpack, map clutched in his hands), got out at Mission and a twitchy man who smelled of stale alcohol slid in to the seat beside me.
He kept crossing and uncrossing his legs, and then when he found a comfortable position he leaned forward a little, both hands holding onto the metal bar of the seat in front of us.

He was skinny. His legs were like sticks, so much so that at first I wondered if they were both some sort of lightweight, slim prosthetic.
He sat pressed right up against my thigh and my hip and I could feel his bones moving, moving.
He could not sit still.
He twitched more, he shivered his leg, and then - oh, please no - he was grinding his bony leg and hip against me.
I shifted in my seat and he stopped for a minute.
Then he started up again and his hip rose up just the tiniest bit so that he was almost in my lap.
I moved away. I cut my eyes at him. Shot him a look - I'm onto you. Cut it out.

I couldn't tell if he was doing this on purpose or if it was a side effect of his twitchyness. He did not look at me but he also did not obviously avoid my eyes.

But he kept sliding up against me.

He was so thin his leg felt like a package of cut-up chicken, muscles and bones all jumbled up together, sloppily. It was almost worse than the grinding. It made me feel sick. For the duration of the ride, I swore off of all meat products.

He stumbled out of the bus at Church and Market. The girl who took his seat, one of the Ethiopian high school girls I see from time to time, hesitated before she sat down. She sat on the edge of the seat. I did not want to know what kept her from leaning back.

She hopped out at Hayes and the man who took her place smiled so widely as he sat down that I wondered if I knew him. Nope, he was just friendly.
He took a lip balm out of his pocket and liberally applied it to his lips.
It smelled, strongly, like strawberries and cotton candy.

On the 38, two stoned teenage boys teased each other about failing a quiz at school.

A mother and daughter spent the entire ride in silence, each one playing with her own phone. They passed a travel mug between them.


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